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Coaching Mike Yardley


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Choke For Game

Choke 2

The Intelligent Gun will take his gun to a pattern range and test its barrels for point of impact (by shooting them like a rifle at fixed mark). It is my experience that many double shotguns do not have barrels which do not throw their charges to the same point of aim. If there is a significant problem with regulation sell the gun! You should also consider the quality of your patterns.

Many guns are excessively choked for driven shooting. For normal use, anything more than quarter choke in the first barrel is too much (my advice is improved cylinder). The nominal constriction as measured at the muzzles means little, of course, what really counts is the pattern the gun actually throws (which can only be ascertained by the tedious business of counting pellets). Modern cartridges which are crimp closed and may have a sophisticated wad are much more efficient than those of a couple of generations back. Typically, they increase the effect of choke. Yesterdays, half choke gun, may be throwing three-quarter choke patterns or tighter with modern cartridges. [As an experiment last year, I shot with a Seminole 'spreader' choke in the first barrel of a 28" over and under. My hypothesis was that typical ranges of driven pheasant are far less than we like to admit. I had my best game shooting season ever. I do not suggest that this is right for you, but I am convinced that a lot more birds would be shot, and fewer pricked, if we unchoked our first barrels. What about the second tube? For most people quater or half choke would be good advice. If you enjoy picking shots, as I do, an even tighter second barrel choke may improve your confidence.

















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